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A tale of two violinists – one downhill, one up

Vanessa-Mae has announced she is giving up music for a year to ski for Thailand in the 2014 Winter Olympics. Since her last Sony deal went flat, V-M has been entertaining tyrants. We wish her well in the new career.


Nicola Benedetti, by sweet contrast, is taking time out from a hectic career to train youngsters in Scotland’s youth orchestras. Such a good role model. And on the up and up.



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  1. Would VM sound any better/worse if (heaven forbid) she broke an arm or two while skiing?

  2. John Soloninka says:

    Although I have no interest in her compositions or that style of synth-pop music, I did hear her play the Bruch Scottish Fantasy, and did a damn fine job! She sounds like a very talented gal. Just wondering when “Doug” last played the Bruch with Orchestra?

    Good for her to get another high-performance life experience through competitive ski racing. The big question is whether she can come back after the hiatus. Tough for Vengerov, perhaps tougher for V-M.

  3. Just one correction, please. Ms Mae did not go round making a habit of entertaining tyrants as the language of your post suggests. As far as I know she just played for one such despicable person.

  4. I have a broad and liberal outlook and easily admire the talents and genius of others–it reminds me how insignificant and unimportant I am in all aspects.
    All great artists adorn the world with beauty and we are all enriched.
    Each artist has their own voice, style and individual richness—if they were all the same, how dull that would be!
    So I conclude, Vanessa is great, Hahn, Yengerov, Tasmin Little, Nigel Kennedy. Benedetti, Sarah Chang,
    Joshua Bell ………….and their predecessors–Perhmann, Zuckermann…
    The list is a long one, please forgive me for mentioning just the above

  5. Laurence Glavin says:

    A few weeks ago, just before the New Year, I read an item in a media blog that Time-Warner cable would strip Ovation TV from its channel lineup. I have Comcast in the Boston area, and they offer Ovation. So I DVRed some of their classical-music offerings, and they included pianist Evgeny Kissin performing Prokofiev”s Eighth Piano Sonata (with a literally dreamy slow movement; the tempo marking uses an Italian word for ‘dreaming’) and later a performance of the Bartok Violin Concerto #2 with violinis Leonidas Kavakos. Sad to say, Ovatiion interjects commercial between movements, but that’s why fast-forward exists. Anyway, I was impressed by Mr. Kavakos’s almost effortless virtuosity in this particular piece. I wasn’t familiar with his name, although he has guest-conducted the Boston Symphony Orchestra (who hasn’t?) and now he’s foremost among viloinists I’d like to hear live some day soon.

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